We’re going to talk about the nature of difficulty levels and difficulty scaling, and how that should apply to hardcore games like Dark Souls.
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When it comes to critically acclaimed and/or very popular games that I happen to not like, they’re usually divided into one of two categories. One is the category of critically acclaimed and/or very popular games that I don’t like, but fully understand why so many would find great enjoyment in them. It’s a matter of taste, after all. But then there’s games that are critically acclaimed and/or very popular, but I’m just baffled by the situation and can’t understand what people find in them, and how come they say what they say (it’s still a matter of taste, but it doesn’t make me any less confused). Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is that kind of game.
Welcome back to this 2-part post series about the Hero’s Journey. In this post, I’m going to talk about the game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and how Vogler’s rework of Campbell’s structure is applied to it. Please note that I’ll reference the previous post about Journey a lot, so please read it beforehand 🙂 That said, let’s continue.
The Hero’s Journey is a narrative structure first described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With A Thousand Faces, and later refined for modern age by Christopher Vogler in The Writer’s Journey. Campbell noticed and described patterns in our myths and stories, of the hero/heroine leaving their ordinary world to go onto adventure, and after going through trials and crises, coming back home a transformed person.
It’s a very archetypal structure that one can notice in many stories: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and thousands upon thousands of other works, including games. And I think why we as people are intrinsically drawn to this sort of narrative structure, is essentially because it’s about striding to a goal, facing challenges and getting to the lowest point upon the way, but eventually overcoming them and becoming a better person as a result. It’s what we encounter and go through in our daily lives, even though we might not realize it at first.